Georgian Boxing Takes Next Step With UBO Title Fight

(January 25- 2007) - Professional boxing in Georgia experienced a massive boom in 2006, almost averaging one show per week. Now the country by the black sea will take it up a notch, and host its first international title fight ever. On January 25 at the Cinema Hall Of Rustaveli in country-capital Tbilisi, compatriots Levan Shonia and Vepkhia Tchilaia will duke it out for the vacant UBO International middleweight title..

“We consider this fight one of the greatest events in Georgian boxing history. We are still in the early steps of developing professional boxing here, but already we feel we are making good progress. It is very important for us, and for the boxers especially, to gain experience in order to improve in this beautiful and brave sport, so I want to thank the UBO for helping us with this” says manager of the Georgian Boxing Group, Mamuka Bakuria, who promotes the show.

Levan Shonia (Pictured right) will enter the fight as the favourite, having put up a spirited effort in a challenge for the WBC Youth title last October in Bosnia & Herzegovina. On that occasion, Shonia lost a close decision to the undefeated Predrag Radosevic, but gained valuable experience, which he will no doubt try to benefit from against Tchilaia. After loosing his pro debut, the loss to Radosevic has been the only blemish on Shonia’s record, which today stands at 9-2 with 5 knockouts.

Besides the WBC title fight, Shonia also went ten rounds last August, when he, as the underdog, defeated (W10) Malkaz Berkatsashvili who entered that fight with an impressive 16-2 record. Additionally, he is coming off a fresh knockout-victory in November.

Tchilaia, like Shonia, lost his pro debut, a decision to an opponent who was 9-0 at the time. He also lost his second professional bout, also on points, but then reeled off eight straight wins before succumbing to Shalva Jomardashvili (21-0) in December of last year. Now 8-3 with 5 knockouts, his mission is to rebound in what will be his careers first title fight, and his careers best victory if he comes out as the winner.

Like the promoters, the Universal Boxing Organization is also very proud to be involved in this history-making event:

“We are delighted to be able to contribute and help the growth of professional boxing in Georgia, and hopefully this will only be the beginning for the people who has worked very hard to make this happen. I wish them the best of luck, and we will be very proud to crown our first champion from Georgia”, says UBO spokesman Phillip Oswald.

Article posted on 25.01.2007

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